Comic book characters have become ingrained in our culture. The top grossing movies are regularly comic book movies, in fact just this past weekend Infinity War set the record for the largest domestic opening weekend for a film. Comic book characters adorn shirts, socks, and are even tattooed on our skin. Since Action Comics #1 was published in 1938 comic books and their fanbase have continued to grow into the behemoths they are. While in past decades comic books have been perceived as a small hobby for a select few in the population the recent surge has thrust them into the mainstream.
Every year on the first Saturday in May publishers and local shops put on Free Comic Book Day where you can grab select comics for free. Local shops put on promotions and special events like special sales and costume contests. This event is for people of all ages. The selection of free comics is available on the website and cover every genre and style. In addition to free comics, you can get yourself some free swag and many stores hire local cosplayers to take pictures with and create a festive environment. The free comics are usually entirely new properties or popular series that are starting a new storyline.
When you’re snagging your free comics feel free to join in the festivities and look around and make some purchases. This day is perfect for introducing yourself to your local comic book shop and reading up on the literature that is the basis for all of the DC and Marvel movies. Don’t limit yourself to just the movie storylines, while those are a great place to begin there are plenty of fantastic characters who are not in the blockbuster movies from both DC and Marvel. There are also different publishers like Dark Horse, Image, and First Second Publishing that have great quality. If you don’t want superheroes and are more interested in history, realism, or fantasy those are also available too. Help support local business and start or extend your collection this Saturday at one of these great locations:
PROVIDENCE PLACE MALL
74 PROVIDENCE PLACE
PROVIDENCE, RI, 02903
1500 BALD HILL RD
WARWICK, RI, 02886
THE TIME CAPSULE
1732 FALL RIVER AVE
SEEKONK, MA, 02771
THE TIME CAPSULE
537 PONTIAC AVENUE
CRANSTON, RI, 02910
RUBBER CHICKEN COMICS
15 NORTH MAIN STREET
BELLINGHAM, MA, 02019
THE TOY VAULT INC.
400 BALD HILL ROAD
WARWICK, RI, 02886
For a complete list of the Free Comics that will be available and to check which stores are participating in Free Comic Book Day near you check out FreeComicBookDay.com
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Photos Courtesy of Tim Rice Photo and taken at Rubber Chicken Comics
It is amazing to see how much vinyl has continued to thrive with its recent revival. CDs are falling out of favor due to streaming and digital, but vinyl is still going strong and record stores are continuing to be a hub of the community. On April 21st you can celebrate Record Store Day, an international event for brick-and-mortar record stores where you can participate in local events and find exclusive albums. This is a great opportunity to discover all of the music options in your neighborhood and to help support local businesses.
Record Store Day was first celebrated on April 19, 2008, which makes this year a special 10th anniversary of the holiday. A Record Store Day Ambassador has been picked for the event every year and has included the likes of Dave Grohl, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Chuck D, and St. Vincent. This year’s ambassador is the group, Run the Jewels.
So come out and commemorate all of the great music and conversations record stores have brought us. Multiple record stores in the area are participating including:
Newbury Comics (Providence Place Mall)
74 Providence Place Providence Place Mall Third Floor Providence, RI
Newbury Comics (Warwick, RI)
1500 Bald Hill Road/Rt.2 Warwick, RI
Newbury Comics (North Attleboro)
999 S. Washington St., Emerald Square Mall 3rd Level N. Attleboro, MA
436 Broadway Providence, RI
580B Wickenden Street Providence, RI
Kangaroo CD’s & Tapes
1759-C Mineral Spring Avenue North Providence, RI
Luke’s Record Exchange
393 Broadway Pawtucket, RI
In Your Ear Music
462 Main Street Warren, RI
Blast from the Past
10 Highland Street West Warwick, RI
Check your local record store to see if they are participating and try to find some of the great exclusive products that are available. For more information on the event check out the official website at RecordStoreDay.com.
Comment below and tell us some of your all-time favorite albums. Also, keep a lookout for Independent Bookstore Day on April 28th and keep checking out the RPL blog for great events and attractions in the area.
Olympic fever has struck. Speed Skaters Shani Davis and Maame Biney, Figure Skaters Nathan Chen and the Shibutanis, and the US Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams may have given you a hankering to get on the ice and learn a sport, how to skate for the first time, or it has inspired you to bring your significant other on an ice skating date. Here are the top rinks from around Rhode Island. All of these rinks have public ice times and many offer leagues, classes, or a chance to simply watch some local sports. Click their names for links to see their times, scheduling, and what each rink brings to the table.
2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence, RI 02903
Photo Courtesy of TheProvidenceRink.com
Possibly the most well-known skating rink in Rhode Island is the Alex and Ani Skating Rink in Downtown Providence. This rink tries to bring the feel of Rockefeller Center with a Rhode Island twist. The Alex and Ani Center hosts tree lightings and plenty of events under the Providence Skyline and recently added ice bumper cars.
900 Phenix Ave, Cranston, RI 02921
This indoor rink is located in Cranston at the end of 37 West and hosts skating lessons along with youth and Men’s hockey leagues. It also has plenty of open skates along with the Friday Night Rock N’ Skate and a snack bar. A pro shop run by Bennett Sports resides inside Veteran Memorial Rink and offers hockey equipment and supplies.
4 Commercial Wharf, Newport, RI 02840
Photo Courtesy of NewportSkatingCenter.com
Outside by the water in the heart of charming Downtown Newport is this outdoor skating rink. After the yearly grand opening and tree lighting, the skating center offers a bevy of daily and nightly events. Enjoy the holidays in Newport and breathe in the air off the bay.
425 East Ave, Burrillville, RI 02830
Located at Burrillville High School this rink is open on Sundays from 11 until 11:50 for open skating. Aside from that, you can catch Men’s League and High School hockey games here. This rink is run by the school department and is perfect for a family activity.
101 Pleasant View Ave, Smithfield, RI 02917
The Smithfield Rink is on Pleasant View Avenue right by the Middle School and Senior High School. The rink offers public times for both skating and hockey and even provides Goalies. This is a wonderful setting for group events and lessons.
1 Keaney Rd, Kingston, RI 02881
Boss Ice Arena is the rink at the University of Rhode Island. Come catch Men and Women’s Ice Hockey games at the collegiate, high school, and youth levels. Boss Ice Arena is available for birthday parties, office parties, and other private gatherings.
25 Andrew D Ferland Way, Pawtucket, RI 02904
The Dennis M Lynch Arena in Pawtucket is open year round and offers public skating time, hosts leagues, and provides refreshments at their snack bar. You can even host a hockey tournament there. It is right off Exchange Street and conveniently located close to I-95.
975 Sandy Ln, Warwick, RI 02889
The Thayer Arena offers year-round skating opportunities with free skating all weekend and skating lessons. Warwick Figure Skaters and Warwick Junior Hockey both hold events here. Thayer Arena also offers school day rentals and is located at the Mickey Stevens Sports Complex right on Sandy Lane in Warwick.
61 Main St, Westerly, RI 02891
Photo Courtesy of WesterlyLandTrust.org
The Washington Trust Community Skating Center is open for Y members and the public and offers plenty of activities including curling and sled hockey. Hockey and skating lessons, as well as skate sharpening, are also available. The facilities are located in Westerly right by the Connecticut line, just 10 minutes from the ocean.
Have a safe time out there and if you think the weather is not right to go out and you want to stay in check out our Top Board Games and Escape Room blog posts to find some great indoor activities. If you know any other good spots to skate like a local pond let us know in the comments. Let us know of any other good activities you know of from around Rhode Island or anything you would like to see here on this blog.